Pair It Up! New Cookbooks For The Shelf

Around our house, we probably have more cookbooks than all other genres combined. They serve three purposes. First off, they always make great coffee table books (which also means wine glass coasters) because we generally gear towards photo-heavy, well-designed reads that are fun for guests to flip through. Second, they serve as inspiration, for those times when we don’t necessarily want to follow a recipe but need a little creative nudge when deciding what’s for dinner. Third, indeed – sometimes we actually go through them, find a recipe we want to try out, assemble the ingredients and go for it.

Here are a trio of cookbooks that I’m looking to nab next, along with wine suggestions that’ll be suitable for lounging around leafing through ‘em, and quite likely good pairings for much of the fare that occupies their pages.

Milk Bar Life by Christina Tosi

The renowned pastry chef of David Chang’s Momofuku empire made a big splash with Momofuku Milk Bar, her first book that shared recipes of company classic desserts like the Compost Cookie, Crack Pie, and Cereal Milk Ice Cream. This time around she leans towards the savoury side with new, alternative classics like Burnt Honey–Butter Kale with Sesame Seeds, and Choose Your Own Adventure Chorizo Burgers.

Wine Pairing: For crazily diverse fare like this, you need something fun and food-friendly that’ll suit many a dish. I’m thinkin’ EastDell Estates 2013 Summer Rose, a cheery pink blend of Riesling, Gamay and Cabernet Franc.

Pure Pork Awesomeness by Kevin Gillespie

The Atlanta Chef does everything from Pastrami on Rye to Coca Cola-Braised pork shoulder, but what I like about this book is that he’s gone through the effort to ensure that these recipes are easy enough to execute at home with store-bought ingredients. This should generally be a given with cookbooks, but it’s amazing how often they’re not guided towards the home cook.

Wine Pairing: Okanagan Crush Pad’s 2013 Narrative Red has that perfect pork-friendly blend of peppery Syrah along with bright and fruity Gamay.

The Sprouted Kitchen: Bowl + Spoon by Sara Forte

Forte’s first book, The Sprouted Kitchen, is a household favourite for its wellness-minded recipes featuring whole grains, fresh produce and lean proteins; we absolutely adore the lentil meatballs and soba bowls with tea-poached salmon. In this fun and festive sequel, she presents simple dishes that are one-bowl wonders offering well-rounded deliciousness.

Wine Pairing: Keep things clean and fresh with something like JoieFarm’s zippy and bright 2013 Muscat.


Kurtis Kolt is a Vancouver-based wine consultant, writer, competition judge and enthusiast. Track him down at, or on Twitter and Instagram @KurtisKolt

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